How to Avoid Stress Eating | East Texas Moms

This seems to be a very stressful time. I know that in the last 5 days alone, I have caught myself eating things I would never normally eat. When things get rough, we tend to cling to food to make us “feel” better, when really, we are eating things that provide little to no nutritional value. This, in turn, makes us hungry sooner after eating. Here are a few ways to help us curb our stress eating.

Try water first.

I know we are all rolling our eyes at this one. But think about it…if you think you are hungry and you just had breakfast 20 minutes ago, maybe your body is telling you it needs some water and you are reading the signal wrong. I have already decided that for the next few days, I am going to log my water intake and see if I am meeting my daily goals. From everything I read, your daily water intake formula is simple. It is your weight in pounds divided by 2. So, for example, I weigh 150 lbs. Therefore, 150\2= 75, so my daily water intake should be 75 ounces. Pro tip: As soon as you wake up in the morning, drink 8 ounces of water to help jump start your body!

Keep healthy snacks stocked.

Over spring break, I made some yummy protein bites that a fellow mama shared with me. My kids even liked them. You make them and pop them in the fridge overnight. They are easy to access and they break up the same old routine.

Protein Bites

~1 1/4 cup oatmeal

~1/2 cup nut butter of your choice

~1/4 cup maple syrup

~2 tbsp sunflower seeds

~1/2 tsp sea salt

~ 1 tsp vanilla extract

~a sprinkle of chocolate chips

~a sprinkle of dried cranberries

My kiddos and I are also always game for fresh fruit. I know if we can’t get to the store very often, I always buy a large bag of apples because they stay good for a longer amount of time.

Make meal time stress free.

If you can’t meal prep on the weekend, just make meal time easier! You can still do healthy items that don’t take all your time to make! My favorite thing to do is to buy the riced cauliflower in the frozen food section and then use it as rice substitute in all our meals. I also try and buy a large pack of chicken and grill it on the weekend. We use the chicken all week to make tacos, burrito bowls, soups and other easy things. This way, if it doesn’t take long to fix a healthy meal, I am less likely to snack on unhealthy things while I am preparing the meal.

Last tip: Gauge your emotional state before you reach for food.

It sounds insane, but if you were just talking on the phone with your mom about school being closed the next few weeks, maybe this is not the best time to reach for a quick hunger fix. Take a few minutes to decompress from the situation. Grab a few sips of water and maybe move your body a bit. You could walk around your driveway or do some yoga in your living room. If you are still craving a snack after all of those things, just reach for something healthy and filling.

I am not an expert on healthy eating. I have just learned through many years of emotional “trigger” eating what works for me.
What are some other tips you have to work against stress eating?
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“Y’all” and “Fixin” were things this born and raised Ohioan never thought would become part of her daily vocabulary. After graduating from Muskingum University with a degree in journalism, Merrideth found herself a true-blooded East Texan and followed him down here. Nine years and many cultural lessons later, Merrideth is learning to balance life as a teacher, wife to a busy entrepreneur, and mother to three kids. She has a mild obsession with reading books before they become movies, Mexican food, and any song by George Strait. Since becoming a Texas transplant, she has committed to living a more active and healthy lifestyle. Travel is her love language! Before she turns the big 4-0, she plans to learn how to Texas two-step, visit Italy with her husband, and publish a novel. You can get to know her better by visiting her blog at


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